Preseason Countdown: No.49 Arapahoe



By John Cackowski
State Director

Leading up to the start of the high school season, we will count down the top 50 preseason teams every day as part of our comprehensive season coverage. The top 50 teams are picked from all classifications, and are not divided up by class level:

Team: Arapahoe
2015 Preseason Rank: 32
2015 Record: 9-10
Conference: Centennial
CHSAA Class: 5A
Head Coach: Luke Muller
Playoff Run:  N/A
2014 Final Rank: 52
Returning Starters: 5
Returning Pitchers: 5

TOP PLAYERS:
Desmond Pineda, RHP, No. 69 2016 (Concordia)
Jacob Goodman, INF/OF, 2016
Clay Hansen, OF, 2016
Garrett Connor, RHP, 2016
Jacob Hilton, SS/P, No. 14 2017

OTHER PLAYERS WHO COULD MAKE AN IMPACT:
Tyler Aikens, RHP, 2016
Cody Peepgrass, INF/OF, 2016
Bret Stenlund, INF/OF, 2016
Jesse Bloom, OF/RHP, 2016
Jacob Schramm, RHP, 2016
Peter Mitchell, OF/INF, 2016

X-FACTOR:
Known in the past for their offense, The Warriors will need to produce more of it in 2016, an area where they struggled in 2015. They could have as many as 8 seniors starting who had limited playing time in 2015. Those seniors will need be able to produce consistently at the plate in an always tough Centennial League.

KEY PLAYER LOST:
Max Whitehead: Graduated
 

STAT RAT:
Arapahoe was 9-10 in 2015, but were 2-8 against the five Centennial League Playoff teams. In those 8 games the Warriors averaged of 4.3 runs a game. In the 9 other games played they went 7 and 2 and averaged 7.7 runs a game.
 

BOTTOM LINE:
Arapahoe came into 2015 coming off a 2014 season where they went 15-4 and graduated 19 seniors. Last year was a rebuilding year for the Warriors, and in 2016 they look to be back in the playoff race. For the Warriors it starts with 2016 pitchers Desmond Pineda (Concordia), and Garrett Connor. Pineda brings a bulldog type of attitude to the mound with a mid-80's fastball.  Both bring back 67 competitive innings. 2016 Jacob Goodman returns and lead the Warriors with 20 RBI's and 2 homeruns in 2015. 2016 OF Clay Hanson hit .322 in 2015, and lead the team with 8 doubles. 2017 SS/RHP received very valuable experience hitting in the middle of the lineup as a sophomore. We are impressed with Hilton's projectability standing at 6-3 and 185 lbs. He brings a mid-80's arm across the diamond, and could also bring a good fastball to the mound if called upon. We have always had a lot of respect for Head Coach Luke Mueller with the off season program he runs to prepare his players physically. We feel his team will rebound this year and get back in the Centennial League mix and earn a playoff spot for 2016